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Eastern Cape Travel Guide | South Africa

Eastern Cape Country Routes - info link
Eastern Cape Country Routes and Touring: Great Karoo, Xhosa Culture, Game Reserves, Frontier History and the Wild Coast.

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The Eastern Cape at a Glance

Blue Flag beaches – The Sunshine Coast stretches from Tsitsikamma to East London and gets the most sunshine in South Africa, making it a year long vacation destination. There are no less than 4 Blue Flag beaches in the Eastern Cape which are internationally recognized for excellence in management, clean facilities and amenities. Blue Flag beaches are re-evaluated annually.

Malaria free safaris – The Eastern Cape offers a number of game reserves and two national parks, making it one of South Africa’s top malaria free safari destination options.

Bungee! – Bungee jump off Bloukrans Bridge, 216m (708 feet) above the Bloukrans River. This is the third highest commercially operated bungee jump in the world. Macau Tower in Macau, China is currently the highest at 233 m (764 feet).

Read More: Highlights of the Eastern Cape | Activities, Attractions, Accommodation

Calendar of events
Tours to this country
The Garden Route, Western Cape - info link
Mountains, forests, lagoons and
shores provide a region of unrivalled scenic beauty, relaxation and adventure.
The Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa
This Barrier of Spears (Zulu) has towering mountain scenery, hiking, climbing, horseback riding, adventure and tranquility.
KwaZulu-Natal Province
The Drakensberg mountains, beaches, scuba diving, surfing, game reserves and historic Anglo-Zulu-Boer Battlefields.

Eastern Cape location within South Africa





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Food & Wine
Spa Resorts

Other Special Interest Activities

Highlights of the Eastern Cape

Surf’s UP! – With towns such as Jeffreys Bay and Cape St Francis and the constant sunshine, it is no wonder that surfing enthusiasts from all over the world come to the Eastern Cape for a surfing holiday and to watch the pros during the world championships held here annually.

Whale Watching – Whale watching season runs from June to November every year and with 820km (509 miles) of coastline there are plenty of places to view the whales from a land base.

Lighthouses – Visit four of the eight lighthouses that make up the national lighthouse tour. The Great Fish Point Lighthouse near Port Alfred, Hoodpoint Lighthouse near East London, The Cape St Francis Lighthouse and the Cape Recife in Port Elizabeth are all found in the Eastern Cape and open between 10am and 3pm Monday to Friday. Some lighthouses offer accommodation  and even conference facilities.

Take to the air – Whether it is skydiving, paragliding, micro lighting or helicopter flips to see whales or wildlife, the sky is not necessarily the limit in the Eastern Cape, there is a lot to see from up high.

National heroes -  Over 12 national heroes, who fought for freedom in South African, were either born, raised, educated or have lived in the Eastern Cape, including past President Mr. Nelson Mandela.

Gateway by Air: Port Elizabeth - Flights connect the city with other domestic airports and international destinations via Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg.


Activities and Attractions:

Eastern Cape Province

Map of Eastern Cape Province
Cities and Towns
Adventure Activities - Ocean, Land, Air
Addo Elephant National Park
Mountain Zebra National Park
Game Reserves
Nature Reserves
Top 10 Beaches of the Eastern Cape
Ten Heritage and Cultural Excursions
Ten Whale Watching sites
Eastern Cape Country Routes

Photo (left): Hole in the Wall, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape Province

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Map of Eastern Cape Province

View Eastern Cape, South Africa in a larger map

How to get there

By Air:
Port Elizabeth Airport is easily accessed from the city center and flights connecting the city with other domestic airports and international destinations via Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg depart daily. It is the fourth largest airport in South Africa.

Airlines such as South African Airways, SA Express, 1Time, British Airways/Comair and Kulula all service the airport with numerous daily arrivals and departures. 

By Road:
Roads in South Africa are very good and well maintained. Many highways lead into and out of the Eastern Cape from all over South Africa. A good place to get directions will be a local Automobile Association (AA) agent; they will have the most up to date routes and maps.

Back to Activities and Attractions

Cities and Towns

Port Elizabeth 

Port Elizabeth ("P.E." to the locals) is the capital city for the Eastern Cape, the fifth largest city in South Africa and dubbed the ‘Friendly City’. It is not only the largest coastal town between Cape Town and Durban but also the coastal city with the most annual sunshine. In fact it has been voted as having the 4th best weather for a coastal city in the world. The city lies 763km (474 miles) east of Cape Town and includes Algoa Bay, offering 40km (25 miles) of inviting ocean waves and long stretches of beach.

The waters of Algoa Bay offer many water sports. Endless days can be spent on numerous beaches or surfing, windsurfing, sailing, diving and angling. A short distance inland, the Swartkops River adds to the array of sport and leisure options to be enjoyed.  

Port Elizabeth Beachfront Attractions

Port Elizabeth Beachfront Attractions

A number of botanical gardens, parks, nature reserves as well as coastal and inland walking trails are available to hikers and nature lovers. History lovers should look out for the period homes dating back to the 1820 settlers that still grace the city with their elegance. Other Port Elizabeth attractions include Bayworld Oceanarium, township tours and the Boardwalk Casino.

East London

East London is located on the Buffalo River and is often referred to as Buffalo City. The city is the only river port in South Africa and serves as the gateway to the Sunshine Coast. As with Port Elizabeth, East London has miles of white sandy beaches, warm ocean waters for swimming and water sports including surfing. Nahoon's Reef Beach hosts international surfing competitions. Fishermen will enjoy the lagoons and river mouth.

East London Attractions

East London Attractions

East London offers something of interest for the whole family, come rain or shine. On days when the beach is not an attraction, the aquarium or the natural history museum are fun to visit. There is an exhibit of the only Dodo egg known to exist and a wonderful exhibition of the Coelacanth. The Coelacanth is a species of fish that was formerly believed to have been extinct for 65 million years, when it was found off South Africa’s east coast on December 23, 1938 in the nets of local fishermen.

On good weather days, Bonza Bay’s enormous sand dunes are perfect for sand boarding, the Lion Park is a must see, Queens Park Zoo is fun for all ages or a picnic at the Botanical Gardens for some relaxation, are all wonderful options.

As with many of the towns in South Africa, East London has been home to many visitors and settlers from foreign lands, evident in the German and English architecture.

Rhodes - and Trout Fishing

This historic town was established in 1891 when it was named after colonialist Cecil John Rhodes. It was proclaimed a National Monument in 1997 to preserve its historic wealth. It is located along the Bell River, well known to trout fishermen.

Travelling to Rhodes is a bit of a challenge as a 60km (37 mile) gravel road takes drivers over the mountain to the sleepy little town. The road often twists and turns and in heavy rain or snow the road is less than satisfactory. Call ahead to other towns along the route (Barkley East or Elliot) to check on road conditions. 

Other rivers that attract trout fishermen are the Kraai and Bokspruit rivers. The Wild Trout Association is a great resource to fishermen interested in visiting Rhodes and surrounds.


In an effort to secure the area as a British colony, Colonel John Graham established a military outpost in 1812. Today this outpost has grown into the historic town of Grahamstown. Home to Rhodes University, Grahamstown is located 130 km (80 miles) from Port Elizabeth and 180km (112 miles) from East London.

Battle of Grahamstown
The Xhosa people were constantly being harassed by the British authorities and warned that they were going to take matters into their own hands if this did not stop. On April 22, 1819 an army of Xhosa warriors under leadership of Nxele decided to attack the town but were overwhelmed by heavy gunfire and Nxele (also known as Makana) surrended. He was taken and imprisoned on Robben Island. On December 25th of the same year he tried to escape and tragically drowned.

Settlers Memorial Grahamstown

Settlers Memorial, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape

The 1820 settlers were British colonialists who were encouraged by the British government to farm the land and increase the British strong hold against the Xhosa in the area. However many of these settlers knew little to nothing about farming and started migrating back to towns to become merchants. This is how the story of Grahamstown’s growth is told and soon it was the largest Cape colonial city outside of Cape Town.

It can safely be said that the main commerce for Grahamstown is centered on education. By 1904 Rhodes University College was established using funds from the Rhodes Trust and in 1951 it was upgraded to a full university. Today it is a large education institution with over 6,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Grahamstown is also home to the National Library for the Blind, National English Literary Museum, International Library of African Music, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Institute for the Study of English in Africa and a number of private schools.

Grahamstown is not only known for it famous university but also as a religious ‘capital’ and has been nicknamed the ‘City of Saints’ since it holds the seat of the Anglican Diocese at St Michael and St George Cathedral. Also strongly represented in Grahamstown are the Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Ethiopian Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, Pinkster Protestant, Dutch Reformed, Charismatic, Apostolic and Pentecostal churches. The diversity continues to communities of Hindus, Scientologists, Quakers, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Muslims. Needless to say with such a varied selection of religions there are over forty religious buildings in town.

Every year the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in June/July and the SciFest Africa draw thousands of enthusiasts to the town. It is believed that this Arts Festival is the largest of its kind in Africa.

Jeffreys Bay

The town and bay is found about an hour’s drive southwest of Port Elizabeth and enjoys a history dating back to 1849 when the first store was opened. It has developed through the centuries from a little fishing village to a thriving urban area.

In Jeffreys Bay surfing is always a topic of discussion. It is home to one of the top five surfing spots in the world and plays host to the annual Billabong Pro and ASP World Tour in July. Waves of 800m (2,626 feet) in length are often recorded. Surfing enthusiasts and professionals make the annual pilgrimage to J’Bay, as it is affectionately called, to challenge their skills and just have some fun in the surf.

The best time for surfers to visit is in wave season June through August although this is a very crowded time. The surf is ‘up’ and swells start to arrive from the south and south west sometimes as early as April. Waves range in size from 2-3 feet right up to a Hawaiian size 10 foot wave. Naturally this is a surfing town so surf supplies are available in many stores. There is no need to bring along wax, ding repair kits or leashes if travelling light is necessary

June/July is winter season in South Africa and it is a good idea to wear a wetsuit, a 3mm or 4mm is a good choice. The rocks in the surf can be sharp and it is advisable to wear booties.

For non surfers, rivers and lagoons, seashells and calamari, whale watching (in season) and birds are just some of the attractions to keep visitors busy. The Kabeljous, Seekoei and Krom Rivers lagoons are great for canoeing, boardsailing, fishing and other water sports. The Kabeljous Nature Reserve is a lovely day excursion to do some hiking and has a lovely estuary that will delight fishermen. The Seekoei River Nature Reserve is another day excursion activity and here birdlife is abundant, while smaller mammals such as small antelope are seen and a 3 hour hiking trail will work up an appetite for a picnic. The hiking trail starts with a raft trip across the lagoon.

St Francis Bay

The bay is actually a fishing port as well as a very popular vacation destination. It is in fact divided into three regions – St. Francis, Cape St. Francis and Port St. Francis and is found close to Jeffreys Bay and only 76 km (47 miles) from Port Elizabeth. 

Port St Francis - This is a working port centered on fishing for squid and calamari. It is also the head quarters for Station 21 National Sea Rescue Institute.

A striking feature of St Francis Bay are the man made canals that snake through almost half the town. It is said that these are the largest man made collection of canals in Africa. The canals are built on the Kromme River estuary and are lined by very distinct white Cape Dutch Style homes with thatched roofs.

Cape St Francis - homes and lighthouse

Acknowledgements: St Francis Tourism

Cape St. Francis

Cape St. Francis forms part of the greater St. Francis area and for a small town it has a lot to offer. Attractions include the Cape St Francis Lighthouse (a National Monument), built in 1878 at Seal Point. It was erected to warn ships of the reefs that stretch a kilometer (more than half a mile) from shore out into the ocean. The lighthouse is open daily from 9am to 4:30pm for guided tours. It is also the tallest masonry tower on the coast of South Africa, with a height of 27.75 meters (91 feet). Seal Point is the third most southerly point of Africa and for the surfers, the point provides a surf reef and point break.

The little hamlet of Cape St Francis also hosts a Penguin Rescue and Rehabilitation Center and the Irma Booysen Flora Reserve. At the rehabilitation center, visitors can see the penguins up close.  Cape St Francis lies within the Cape Floral Kingdom (see Cape Floristic Region) and is a wonderful place to view numerous bird species. Whale watching is a popular past time between June and November when the whales arrive - with peak viewing in September and October.

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Adventure Activities - Ocean, Land and Air

The Eastern Cape provides bridges to bungy, rivers to raft and soaring sand dunes to sandsurf. Whoever said nature was not exciting has never visited the Eastern Cape.

A few of the more popular adventure activities are:

Horseback riding

Sand boarding


Trout fishing

Surf school

Jeffreys Bay and San Rock Art

Surfing at J-Bay and San Rock Art

Hiking trails, mountain biking and quad biking

 Elephant back rides

Snow Skiing

Bungy, bridge walking and bridge swings

Bungy - Bloukrans, Garden Route

Acknowledgements - Face Adrenalin, Bloukrans River Bridge

Scuba diving and snorkeling

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Addo Elephant National Park

The park is within an hour's drive of Port Elizabeth - Port Elizabeth to the Addo Main Camp is 72km (under 45 miles). Whether visiting for a day as a self drive, or staying over in one of the rest camps, visitors will experience not only superb game viewing but a chance to enjoy a number of adventure activities. If preferred, a guided tour from Port Elizabeth is possible. A number of tour companies offer day tours to the park. Check the sidebar on the left for listed tour companies or contact Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism for a list of operators and telephone numbers.

Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth

Roads in the park are excellent, some are tarred (asphalt) and others are well maintained gravel roads. Normal sedan cars will do just fine and 4x4 vehicles will only be needed if visitors decided to follow the route signposted as a 4x4 trail. Speed limit in the park is 40 km/hour (25 miles/hour) but a slower speed is recommended for game viewing.

The park encompasses parts of the dry Karoo in the north, running over the Zuurburg Mountains to the Sundays River valley and stretches onward to the Eastern Cape beaches between the Sundays River mouth and Bushman’s River mouth, making it the third largest national park in South Africa at 180,000 hectares (444,700 acres). The park also includes the Bird and St Croix Island groups.

When Addo was proclaimed in 1931 only a handful of elephant roamed the area. Now after years of conservation efforts there are over 500 elephants in the park, along with black rhino, lion, leopard, buffalo, spotted hyena and a healthy variety of antelope. Addo is also home to the flightless dung beetle, which is rarely found anywhere else. There are big plans ahead for Addo as conservationists look at expanding it to 264,000 hectare (652,300 acres). They would also like to include a marine area of 120,000 hectare (296,500 acres) to protect the largest breeding population of Cape gannets and endangered African penguins in the world.

Rain occurs in the park all year round but higher rainfall can be expected in February, March, October and November.

Activities in the park may be booked with the main office of Sanparks or by emailing them at:

Guided Game Drives

Self drive with a guide

Horse Trails

There are two trails in the park, Addo trail and Zuurberg trail.

Addo Trail

Zuurberg trail

Hiking trails

There are a number of hiking trails with varying difficulty levels and lengths.

Addo region of the park - The main trail in the Addo region is the Alexandria trail.

Alexandria Trail

Zuurberg hiking trail - There are a few well signposted trails in the Zuurberg area of the park and visitors can pick up a map at the Zuurberg offices.   

Cycad trail

Doringnek trail

Tree Dassie trail

4x4 trail

Opening and Closing times for park gates

Opening and closing times for all the gates will change according to the season but generally opening times are around 7am or earlier in the summer and closing is from 4-7 pm depending on the season.

The gates are manned by security guards and guests who have booked accommodation in the park may still leave after closing hours but must be back in the park by 10pm. Visitors must also let reception know that they are leaving and will return after the gates have been closed. After 10pm no admission to the park is allowed.

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Mountain Zebra National Park

As the name suggests this park is a haven for the endangered Mountain Zebra and it helped save them when the park was proclaimed in 1937. There are now around 300 in the park which is a healthy 28,412 ha in size, giving them plenty of space to roam along with cheetah, Cape buffalo, black rhino, eland, black wildebeest, red hartebeest and gemsbok.

The park is a 3 hour drive from Port Elizabeth and only 12km (7.5 miles) from the town of Cradock. Park gates are open:
1 October to 31 March: 07:00 - 19:00 - summer
1 April to 30 September: 07:00 - 18:00 - winter

Activities in the park may be booked with the main office of Sanparks or at the park’s reception.

Game Drives

Picnic site and recreation

Hiking trails

Some trails will close for maintenance or for safety reasons and it is wise to check with the park first – email them at

4x4 Trails

There are a number of 4 x 4 trails graded between two and four and no booking is required. However only 4x4 vehicles may use these trails. Gas and diesel are available at the rest camp.

Hints & Tips from

Back to Activities and Attractions

Game Reserves

Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Here visitors are not only treated to luxury accommodation but also malaria free Big 5 game viewing. It has won several awards for excellence including World’s Leading Conservation Company and Game Reserve.
The reserve is situated along the Bushman’s River between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown and consists of 25,000 ha with five different eco-systems, with a variety of plant life and allowing animals to roam free.

Shamwari Lobengula Lodge

Acknowledgements: Shamwari Game Reserve - Lobengula Lodge

Kariega Game Reserve

Kariega lies on the Cape coast, on the border of the Eastern and Western Cape. After 20 years of ‘collecting’ pieces of land Kariega can boast 9,000 ha of conservation area.

Today it is a luxury safari getaway with a number of excellent lodges to choose from, including an historic farmhouse built in 1908. Some lodges overlook the Kariega River and Bushman’s River and offer activities that include morning and afternoon game drives, river cruises, bush walks, canoeing, fishing, golf or a day at the beach.

The wildlife on the reserve is diverse and visitors can expect to see lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard, hippo, hyena, giraffe, zebra, eland, kudu, wildebeest, waterbuck and a variety of antelope. Also found is a healthy list of bird species, including various eagle species.

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Nature Reserves

There are a number of nature reserves in the Eastern Cape ranging from the large Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve at 184,385 ha to reserves as small as 400ha. Some are in the mountains, some along the coast but all serve as protected areas for the fauna, flora, wildlife and cultural heritage of the region.

Many offer accommodation from rugged overnight huts or camping under the stars.

Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve

This is a large rugged mountainous reserve located 120km (75 miles) west if Port Elizabeth. It was named after the baboons in the area, ‘baviaan’ is Dutch for baboon and ‘kloof’ is Afrikaans for ravine.

The Reserve was recently awarded World Heritage Site status and is home to seven of the eight biomes in South Africa. Biomes are specific ecological areas where plants and animals live together in a unique climate. An interpretive World Heritage Site Center was opened in December 2007.

Baviaanskloof is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom and home to over a 1,000 different plant species. Expect to see gorgeous Erica and Protea and ancient cycads.

The scenery is breathtaking but the adventure is just as good, with plenty opportunities for rock climbing, mountain climbing, bird watching, nature drives and camping for the outdoor enthusiast. Wildlife in the area includes over 50 mammals, 300 species of birds and diverse reptiles and amphibians.

Commando Drift Nature Reserve

This reserve is located 58km (36 miles) from the town of Cradock and is named after the original farm owned by Voortrekker leader Hendrik Potgieter from 1812 to 1836. There are a number of hiking trails in the reserve and wildlife such as the Cape Mountain Zebra, Black Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Springbuck and Kudu are often seen. It is a quiet reserve aimed at folks looking for an off the beaten track getaway.

The Commando Drift Endurance Trail is popular with mountain bikers. It is a trail that can be very strenuous and puncture repair kits are recommended since there are a lot of acacia and devil thorn trees along the trail. Horse trails are also available for all levels of riding experience.

A dam on the reserve is perfect for a number of water sports including boating, waterskiing, sailing, fishing, windsurfing and canoeing.

Dwesa Nature Reserve

Dwesa is geared towards anyone who loves to camp out or stay in wooden chalets in a natural setting. It lies snug between the Indian Ocean and the grasslands of the old Transkei. The beach is beautiful, quiet and pristine.

Activities include 4x4 trails, walks with a community guide or a boat trip on the Mbashe River to Cwebe. Look out for crocodile in the rivers, birdlife and some of the game that have been imported such as Red Hartebeest, Buffalo, Eland and Warthog.

East London Coast Nature Reserve

This reserve is made up of 10 coastal reserves and 2 inland State Forests. They are found between the Great Keir River and the Tylomnqa Rivers. They include Cape Morgan, Double Mouth, Cape Henderson, Chintsa West, Kwelera, Nahoon, Cove Rock/Gulu, Kidd’s Beach, Kayser’s Beach and Chalumna.

The Great Fish River Nature Reserve

This is not one reserve but three joined in a circular route encompassing an area of 45,000 ha. It is made up of the Andries Vosloo Kudu Reserve, the Double Drift Nature Reserve and the Sam Knott Nature Reserve.

Historically the Great Fish River was often the border that separated conflicts between the white settlers and the Xhosa tribes. History buffs might find it interesting to visit the forts, signaling towers, fortified farmstead, barracks and graves in the reserve. Some historic places to note are Maitland Military Camp (rediscovered when artifacts were found during construction of the Fish River Sun golf course), Broxholm Cottage built by Sergeant C. Broxholm in 1846, Soldier’s Cemetery where it is believed that soldiers from the 6th and 45th regiments and Cape Levy were buried.

Visitors going on game drives or self drives can expect to see Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Hippo in the river and Kudu.

Mkhambathi Nature Reserve

Mkhambathi is between Port Edward and Port St Johns and is a large coastal reserve with forest, ravines and rivers. It is a great destination for hiking and fishermen will enjoy fishing in the official estuaries. Self drives are allowed for game viewing during the day and at night. Wildlife includes Eland and Red Hartebeest, with birdlife including Redshouldered Window, Yellow throated Longclaw, Common Waxbill, Croaking Cisticola, Orange Throated Long-Claw, Ground Hornbill with Gurneys Sugarbird and the Greater Double Collared Sunbird.

The scenic beauty of the reserve is enhanced by the many rivers that run through it. Most notably is the Mkhambathi because as it meanders it offers up clear pools and lovely waterfalls such as the Horseshoe Falls and the Strandloper (beach walker) and Mkhambathi Falls that roll gently into the ocean

Smaller reserves include:

Tsolwana Nature Reserve
Thomas Baines Nature Reserve
Mpofu Nature Reserve
Fort Fordyce Nature Reserve
Silaka Nature Reserve
Hluleka Nature Reserve
Oviston Nature Reserve

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Top 10 Beaches of the Eastern Cape

Acknowlegements: South African Tourism

  1. Hobie Beach, Nelson Mandela Bay Precinct: A recognized Blue Flag beach that hosts sailing and boating events. Also popular with swimmers and surfers and those who love some fun in the sun.
  2. Humewood Beach, Nelson Mandela Bay Precinct: A Blue Flag beach that is a focal part of city life in Port Elizabeth. Great for tanning, swimming, surfing and... socializing.
  3. Well’s Estate, Nelson Mandela Bay Precinct: Paddling pools, water slides and a long pier built over the dunes, are the major attractions at this popular Blue Flag Beach.
  4. King’s Beach, Nelson Mandela Bay Precinct: Thanks to its 1.6 kilometers of Blue Flag beach, King's Beach attracts bathers, surfers, beachcombers and children in particular, thanks to its kiddie-friendly facilities.
  5. Kelly’s Beach, Port Alfred: This coastal town is blessed with a number of beaches, but Kelly’s is the Blue Flag favorite. Perfect for safe swimming, beach ball games, tanning and walking.
  6. Dolphin Beach, Jeffrey’s Bay: The main swimming beach in a town known for its Supertubes and surfers, it’s an alcohol-free zone popular with families.
  7. Kariega Beach, Kenton-on-Sea: Once voted the best beach in South Africa, Kariega Beach offers up the best of bucket-and-spade country. Great for swimming and it’s child-friendly too.
  8. Coffee Bay, Wild Coast: Coffee Bay lies at the mouth of the Nenga river and is protected by high cliffs and rolling hills. Very popular for hikes and horse-safaris. Eight kilometers from Coffee Bay is the famous ‘Hole in the Wall’ rock formation.
  9. Morgan’s Bay, north of Haga-Haga: A heavenly stretch of unspoilt, white sandy beach that is a haven of peace and quiet. Great for families over the school holidays when it offers up the ultimate summer playground.
  10. Kidd’s Beach, East London: About 25 kilometers south of the city (toward Port Elizabeth) you’ll find Kidd’s Beach. It is a favorite hangout of surfers as its conditions allow almost year-round surfing.

Back to Activities and Attractions

10 Heritage and Cultural Excursions

Acknowledgements: Eastern Cape Tourism

  1. Cradle of Humankind (World Heritage Site), the Tsitsikamma coast and the Kouga mountains, where modern man began.
  2. The rock art sites at Drakensberg Ukhahlamba Park (World Heritage Site).
  3. The Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha, Mvezo and Qunu ( Mandela's birthplace).
  4. The Amatola Mountains because of their pivotal role in the Wars of Resistance.
  5. Wild Coast's Hole in the Wall and Gompo Rock because of their importance in Xhosa legend.
  6. Egazini in Grahamstown, the site of the most important battle in South Africa's history.
  7. Graaff Reinet - the oldest town in South Africa.
  8. The mission stations in the Eastern Cape.
  9. Slagters Nek, where the first stirrings of Afrikaner nationalism began.
  10. The Campanile in Port Elizabeth, where the 1820 settlers landed.

Xhosa People

Rural Village Huts and Xhosa Women

10 Whale Watching Sites

Acknowledgements: Eastern Cape Tourism

The season for whale watching: June - November

  1. Nahoon, Gonubie and Eastern Beaches in East London
  2. Port Alfred and Kenton Beaches
  3. Bluewater Bay and Pollock Beaches in Port Elizabeth
  4. Beachview and Seaview stretch - Port Elizabeth
  5. Supertubes / Lookout Point - Jeffreys Bay
  6. St Francis Bay
  7. Tsitsikamma National Park
  8. Coffee Bay - Wild Coast
  9. Port St Johns - Wild Coast
  10. Chintsa - Jikileza Route

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10 More Things to do
when visiting the Eastern Cape

 1 Visit the Kouga Cultural Centre in Humansdorp
 2 Visit Oyster Bay for some rock, deep sea or surf fishing
 3 Windsurfers and kite boarders will love Paradise beach with good wind conditions all year round
 4 Golf is a beautiful, fun and scenic experience here from St Francis Links to Swartenbosch Golf Club.
 5 Travel the Country Routes, along the N6 highway to explore hiking trails, view San Rock Art and stop in at an African village.
 6 Go snow-skiing on Ben MacDhui slopes near Rhodes, in the winter
 7 Stop over in Aliwal North to rejuvenate in the hot springs and visit the Anglo-Boer War Garden of Remembrance.
 8 Tour the fossil trails near the town of Lady Grey.
 9 Take an Elephant Back Safari in Addo Elephant National Park
10 Visit art galleries such as the Walter Battis Art Gallery in Somerset East

Eastern Cape
Tours and Transfers


Eastern Cape Hotel Accommodation

East London Hotels: South African
Port Elizabeth Hotels: South African
St Francis Bay Hotels: South African
Mthatha Hotels: South African

Eastern Cape Accommodation
Guest Houses, B&Bs
and Self Catering

Port Elizabeth Metro Bed and Breakfast Association [Storms River, Port Elizabeth and Addo]: Bed and Breakfast / Guest House / Self Catering / Resort accommodation.

Grahamstown Accommodation: Bed and breakfast, guest house, farm stay, lodges, self catering accommodation, in and around Grahamstown.

on the Wild Coast Hotels, B&B, Backpackers. Accommodation along the Wild Coast ranges from camping to rustic to traditional to exclusive; with something to suit everyone's taste and budget.







Golf and Spa



Markets, Arts and Crafts



Wilderness, Trails
and Wildlife



Eastern Cape Cuisine



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